Whether football or netball, rugby or racquet sports, hockey or horse riding, contact sports are responsible for many dental injuries.

In fact, a study in the Journal of the American Dental Association indicated that up to 39% of dental injuries are sports related and the British Orthodontic Society reported that around a quarter of UK children will have problems with a front tooth as a result of a sporting incident. Many medical and sporting bodies now recommend the use of gumshields in the sports kit.

To protect your teeth, we recommend using a gumshield when taking part in contact sport or where there is a reasonable chance of being hit by a ball. These can be custom made or pre-moulded. The gumshield should provide around 4mm of protection to reduce the effect of any impact. We recommend that large areas of its biting surface are in contact with the teeth in the opposite jaw to minimise the risk of jaw fracture. And most importantly the gumshield should be comfortable, well-fitting and stay in place.

If you have to wear a gumshield while undergoing orthodontic treatment. there are additional issues to consider. Some companies are now making off the shelf ‘ortho-guard’ gumshields for patients with braces but if you or your child needs to use a gumshield during orthodontic treatment we can advise on options that will offer the best protection.